22-year-old English midfielder Ruben Loftus Cheek impressed everyone in his season-long loan spell at Selhurst Park last season. So much so that the midfielder was picked for England’s World Cup squad in Russia. The midfielder would have thought the breakout season in Palace colours might bring him in contention at his parent club Chelsea but Loftus Cheek is yet to make a start for his club this season under Maurizio Sarri. It is believed that he is likely to go out on loan in January to get more playing time.
He has played just half an hour of football over two Premier League games and it is clear that the likes of Jorginho, Cesc Fabregas, Ngolo Kante and Ross Barkley are ahead in the pecking order. The midfielder tried to leave the club in the summer after he didn’t feature in the matchday squad against Arsenal but no deal was materialised then. Roy Hodgson had earlier admitted that he would love to sign him back in the new year and the possibility of that looks bright.
Palace had a mixed start to the Premier League so far and they could certainly do with someone like Loftus Cheek in midfield. Hodgson also decided not to further the contract of Yohan Cabaye in the summer, and thus they lack that creative force in the middle of the park. Their attacking and goal scoring onus is currently dependent on the likes of Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha and the 22-year-old Englishman can definitely add some spark in the midfield.
The Eagles ended the last season on a high and clearly looked like they could challenge for the European spots if they managed to keep hold of Zaha and get Loftus Cheek again on loan. They were successful in holding on to their Ivory Coast winger but Chelsea didn’t send the English midfielder on loan in the summer. Sarri had demanded more from Loftus Cheek in the training period but it looks like the Italian manager doesn’t rate him highly as he wasn’t even given an opportunity to play a single minute against PAOK in the Europa League.
The midfielder has grown leaps and bounds since he started playing regular football. The English midfielder has those driving runs in him and he contributed well even on the goals front last season at Selhurst Park. While in midfield, the London born player is tough to dispossess as he uses his body extremely well to protect the ball.
It is sad to see a midfielder who played for the national side in the World Cup struggling for minutes at the club level and Chelsea could have let him go on loan in the summer after they signed someone like Jorginho. Palace would definitely benefit from having him back in January and the recent developments suggest that they would be favourites to get their hands back on the 22-year-old midfielder.
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